Japanese whalers' begin search for humpbacks

Posted by jossc — 19 November 2007 at 11:53am - Comments

A humpback breaching

The Japanese whaling fleet is at sea again, heading down to the Southern Ocean to begin its annual whale cull. And this year their plans are bigger than ever, targeting 1,000 cetaceans including 50 endangered fin whales, 935 minkes and, for the first time, 50 threatened humpbacks.

Once again this slaughter will be justified in terms of gathering 'scientific' data about whale populations, even though 18 years of this have yet to yield any concrete results. And once again the whale meat will end up being sold commercially in Japan, despite the tiny and declining market, and minimal demand from the rest of the world.

Whaling factory ship Nishin Maru leaving Shimonoseki harbourWhaling factory ship Nishin Maru leaving Shimonoseki harbour

Japan's concept of 'scientific' whaling has long been exposed as a scam. The IWC (International Whaling Commission), which regulates whaling worldwide, has said for years that the information gathered is not useful. Everything the whalers find out from harpooning whales can be learned by non-lethal means.

To demonstrate this, we recently undertook a joint project with two ocean research institutes to track the migratory behaviour of humpbacks (noted for having the most complex and beautiful songs of any cetaceans), by tagging and tracking them via GPS. You can see Google maps of their progress by visiting the Great Whale Trail, which will also be showing the whalers' progress as they head to Antarctic waters.

Our ship the Esperanza was standing by off the Japanese coast waiting for the whalers to leave their home port of Shimonoseki, and is now tracking the fleet as it begins the long journey south. We intend to monitor and record the whalers' activity, and intervene as often as possible to limit the number of whales they're able to kill. This senseless slaughter must be stopped.

You can get regular reports of the Esperanza's progress by following the crew's weblog, and by checking out the live webcam.

What you can do

Everybody who cares about the restarting of whaling should agree to boycott Sony products until whaling is stopped.
This will have the fastest effect as money has more power than politics and is the only way the Japanese will be convinced to stop eating our wildlife.

Sir/Madam I am totally in favour of greenpeace trying to stop the whaling by the Japanese and I wish you all the luck in trying to stop them killing the whales but what I do not understand is why when you fail and the whale dies you do not get to the carcass and inject it with some sort of poison while the carcass is still in the sea it does not belong to the Japanese you would only have to inject one of the carcasses and get the fact onto the news networks and the bottom would drop out of the market for whale meat.
Cheers ib

No jokes I actually cried when I heard about this. Its unfair and I know biofuels are good and all that but these animals are endangered. GET OVER YOURSELVES SILLY WHALERS!

Yes, I agree that the products of this country could be boycotted to have a financial impact. However, given the size and influcence they have, this may be difficult.

The issue with the whales is without doubt abhorent. The world has moved on and in that process you'd think we'd be more enlightened.

So, it still comes down to human behaviour. Whilst many now consider whaling as totally defunct, there are those that do not. I suggest channelling more research and efforts into trying to educate these people and showing them how wrong their actions are. The whales are a valuable and precious asset to this planet by their very presence and intelligence - NOT for their meat and other by-products. We have still so much to learn.

My deepest thanks to all those that care and take action on the whales behalf.

It is the only language that Japan understands, and please, don't simply make it a boycott on your own, or of one Japanese company, tell all your friends what you are doing and why. It's coming up to Christmas, boycott all Japanese goods.

It would also be excellent if you wrote to the Japanese high commisioner at the Japanese embassy in London explaining that you are boycotting all Japanese goods. Tell him what you are doing and why.

Together we can save the whales.

The boycotting of their products Is by far the way to go.
The power of Sony is so huge it would have a big effect.
It is not only Sony though. Unfortunately many parts are made there.,Even for other makes. I do not by any of the products at all if I can help it.
I can not understand why more are not boycotting them.Unless it is the policy route.
It sickened me so much when I heard they were going out again including the endangered Humpbacks.
They are all precious majestic creatures.
Boycotting Sony would be a huge pain in their commerce rightly so too.. Please stop them!!!!.

These beautiful animals are not yet on teh endangered list and therefore means they can be culled, does that then mean that we should hunt them until they are on the list-i think not. leave the creatures alone!

I made comment.. What was wrong with it?.
On a other forum some people actually find it amusing and while I agree that the cod is nearly extinct an it should not happen I agree that is so wrong too.
To find it funny to hunt these creatures make me sick
I wonder how many products we buy actually have whale products in them. I am a vegetarian anyway, Soaps and things like that.
I still believe hitting their products will have a big impact.

How can they hunt whales, their so beautiful, just thinking about hunting them is going tooo far! they should be looked after not hunted, why a whales? its cruel to harm any living animal, but whales are kinda different their endangered for one thing. What the Japanese are doing is just worng.....
n we should make a stand... and make it stop!! stop it now!

How do we go about writting to the High commisioner?
If some one wrote it we all sign I am not very good at this.
I have boycotted thier products for a few Years anyway.
Unfortunatly some can not be helped in the past,
They make me sick to the stomach.
It could be a good wake up call to them though.

As Greenpeace Japan showed in their poll last year 2/3 of the Japanese people oppose whaling on the high seas. We agree with THEM. But it’s a small amount of people with the Japanese Government, especially the Fisheries Agency who are keeping the industry alive – at great cost to the Japanese tax-payers.

I know that governments don’t always reflect what their people want (and speaking from the UK, I do know!) – so let’s not target the ordinary people in Japan by boycotts and anti-Japanese sentiment.

Our countries need to make this a political issue at the highest possible levels, and our governments need to hold the Japanese Government to account for flouting international agreements on whaling. But at the same time the Japanese people should be asking why their taxes are supporting an industry they don’t want or need.

Let’s support our Japanese friends and hopefully together we can end whaling.

Willie,
Oceans Campaign, GPUK

If anyone doesn't have time to set up their own whale trail fundraising page in the UK - please sponsor mine instead !

Just go to the whale defender page through the Greenpeace link above and get the list of people who have created pages

you'll see mine there clearly marked as 'Georgie Lyng UK'

I am wearing something coloured red in symbolic gesture to represent the senseless bloodshed from now until the end of the Japanese whaling season !

Your name and any comment of support you want to make will appear beneath the amount you sponsor me for !

Many thanks on behalf of Mr Splashy Pants ! (Well that whale name got my vote anyway!)

georgie

Isn't about time Japan, Norway and Iceland stopped this barbaric practice of slaughtering whales, particular Japan who seem to kill the larger amount. Its a wonder there are any minke whales left as they seem to be severely persecuted. I find it hard to comprehend that these beautiful, graceful, gentle creatures are killed in such a brutal way. It makes me feel very sad. Let's call on our governments to put pressure on these countries, particularly Japan to stop the whaling and threaten with boycotting of their goods.

Pass on the word for all to write to Japanese High Commission, David Milliband, local MP, IWC etc.

Economic pressure will never work, attack their pride!

Lobby to exclude them from the OLYMPIC games as an undesireable nation.

I don't think many fellow competitors would condone the government backed, needless slaughter of such magnificent creatures.

Yes, definitely boycott major Japanese companies, but it's important to write to them and tell them and why. The letter/e-mail doesn't have to be long or well written. Just say "I am boycotting your products because Japan kills whales." It can work.

whatever it takes

Why doesn't Greenpeace support the work of Captain Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd in tackling the whalers? Isn't it time Greenpeace grew up and stopped this childish attitude towards Sea Shepherd, if for no other reason than you ARE BOTH AGAINST KILLING WHALES!
Paul Watson, a founder member of Greenpeace left over a disagreement with then Greenpeace President Patrick Moore. Moore is now a lobbyist for the logging, mining, salmon farming, bio-genetic engineering industries and the nuclear industry, so Paul was a good judge of character wasn't he? It really is about time Greenpeace accepted the offers of friendship and collaboration Sea Shepherd keeps sending you.
You would gain a lot of respect from a lot of people if you accepted them and made friends. Right now, whales' lives are at risk, and any cooperation could save more of them. What do you care most about; whales or your own collective pride?

Hi Pete

We've laid out our position on this several times, including in this letter to Paul Watson. As you say, let's concentrate on stopping the whaling.

Cheers,

Bex
gpuk

So that's it? You'd laid out your position and it's set in concrete. Perhaps rather than flat denial, you could actually investigate whether anyone either employed by Greenpeace or claiming to represent Greenpeace has done what is claimed, perhaps both of you should talk it through, investigate, get to the bottom of it. It's hardly likely it's entirely made up, and Paul Watson is still talking peace and cooperation. Why this intractable attitude? As for 'we'll come to your aid just like any other vessel' is hardly the friendliest attitude.
Human beings and their attitudes are usually the major problem to progress.
My personal preference would be a fleet of motor torpedo boats to sink the whole fleet of murdering Japanese perverts, and I'd gladly contribute to that, but then I think whales are far more important than whalers any day, and deserve someone actually fighting on their side, rather than posing for the world's press and making endless statements while achieving nothing.
Hopefully now the Australian Navy will get out there and prevent them.
Further to the above I hear that Sea Shepherd, having difficulties and prevented temporarily from getting to the whaling fleet, have offered you their helicopter to aid your actions. Still going to disrespect them until they crave your forgiveness?
I lose respect for Greenpeace daily. I think you have grown too big, have become a huge bureacracy handling a lot of money and involved in many diverse campaigns and publicity stunts, and Sea Shepherd are seen as an irritation to your global multinational organisation.

Having watched the independent documentary of Greenpeace's 'anti-whaling' effort, I'm even more disgusted. Not only did the skipper of the Greenpeace ship refuse to acknowledge Sea Shepherd, a remarkably silly, petulent attitude hardly worthy of a grownup, but they were also more concerned about a whaler being killed by a fire onboard the factory/abattoir ship than the environment being damaged, which came second. Offering assistance to whalers after ignoring Sea Shepherd says it all; you have been taken over by suits who don't give a toss about anything but publicity and keeping the income flowing in. Even crew members were saying Greenpeace isn't run by activists any more.
You have grown into a multinational. You are now part of the problem. You mix with politicians and have become just like them. Whaling doesn't even figure on the opening pages of your site, I had to search to find any mention; it's all publicity stunts, hired in circus troupes, abseilers on buildings, and lobbying movers and shakers and other such scum.
You really should abandon whaling as an issue even if it was the one which started Greenpeace, you are now irrelevent, and should leave it to those who clearly care about whales over whalers and actually putting a stop to whaling rather than raising yet more money on the back of it.

I was watching the program the other day about greenpeace following the japanese butchers.It upset me so much i had to turn it over.

I would sink them ships if it was in my power.

Them japanese whalers would get torpedo'd if i had my own sub.

Do these heartless people not realise that they are destroying beautiful, magnificent creatures and making them endangered ? I SAY LEAVE THE WHALES ALONE !!!!!!!

Everybody who cares about the restarting of whaling should agree to boycott Sony products until whaling is stopped. This will have the fastest effect as money has more power than politics and is the only way the Japanese will be convinced to stop eating our wildlife.

Sir/Madam I am totally in favour of greenpeace trying to stop the whaling by the Japanese and I wish you all the luck in trying to stop them killing the whales but what I do not understand is why when you fail and the whale dies you do not get to the carcass and inject it with some sort of poison while the carcass is still in the sea it does not belong to the Japanese you would only have to inject one of the carcasses and get the fact onto the news networks and the bottom would drop out of the market for whale meat. Cheers ib

No jokes I actually cried when I heard about this. Its unfair and I know biofuels are good and all that but these animals are endangered. GET OVER YOURSELVES SILLY WHALERS!

Yes, I agree that the products of this country could be boycotted to have a financial impact. However, given the size and influcence they have, this may be difficult. The issue with the whales is without doubt abhorent. The world has moved on and in that process you'd think we'd be more enlightened. So, it still comes down to human behaviour. Whilst many now consider whaling as totally defunct, there are those that do not. I suggest channelling more research and efforts into trying to educate these people and showing them how wrong their actions are. The whales are a valuable and precious asset to this planet by their very presence and intelligence - NOT for their meat and other by-products. We have still so much to learn. My deepest thanks to all those that care and take action on the whales behalf.

It is the only language that Japan understands, and please, don't simply make it a boycott on your own, or of one Japanese company, tell all your friends what you are doing and why. It's coming up to Christmas, boycott all Japanese goods. It would also be excellent if you wrote to the Japanese high commisioner at the Japanese embassy in London explaining that you are boycotting all Japanese goods. Tell him what you are doing and why. Together we can save the whales.

The boycotting of their products Is by far the way to go. The power of Sony is so huge it would have a big effect. It is not only Sony though. Unfortunately many parts are made there.,Even for other makes. I do not by any of the products at all if I can help it. I can not understand why more are not boycotting them.Unless it is the policy route. It sickened me so much when I heard they were going out again including the endangered Humpbacks. They are all precious majestic creatures. Boycotting Sony would be a huge pain in their commerce rightly so too.. Please stop them!!!!.

These beautiful animals are not yet on teh endangered list and therefore means they can be culled, does that then mean that we should hunt them until they are on the list-i think not. leave the creatures alone!

I made comment.. What was wrong with it?. On a other forum some people actually find it amusing and while I agree that the cod is nearly extinct an it should not happen I agree that is so wrong too. To find it funny to hunt these creatures make me sick I wonder how many products we buy actually have whale products in them. I am a vegetarian anyway, Soaps and things like that. I still believe hitting their products will have a big impact.

How can they hunt whales, their so beautiful, just thinking about hunting them is going tooo far! they should be looked after not hunted, why a whales? its cruel to harm any living animal, but whales are kinda different their endangered for one thing. What the Japanese are doing is just worng..... n we should make a stand... and make it stop!! stop it now!

How do we go about writting to the High commisioner? If some one wrote it we all sign I am not very good at this. I have boycotted thier products for a few Years anyway. Unfortunatly some can not be helped in the past, They make me sick to the stomach. It could be a good wake up call to them though.

As Greenpeace Japan showed in their poll last year 2/3 of the Japanese people oppose whaling on the high seas. We agree with THEM. But it’s a small amount of people with the Japanese Government, especially the Fisheries Agency who are keeping the industry alive – at great cost to the Japanese tax-payers. I know that governments don’t always reflect what their people want (and speaking from the UK, I do know!) – so let’s not target the ordinary people in Japan by boycotts and anti-Japanese sentiment. Our countries need to make this a political issue at the highest possible levels, and our governments need to hold the Japanese Government to account for flouting international agreements on whaling. But at the same time the Japanese people should be asking why their taxes are supporting an industry they don’t want or need. Let’s support our Japanese friends and hopefully together we can end whaling. Willie, Oceans Campaign, GPUK

If anyone doesn't have time to set up their own whale trail fundraising page in the UK - please sponsor mine instead ! Just go to the whale defender page through the Greenpeace link above and get the list of people who have created pages you'll see mine there clearly marked as 'Georgie Lyng UK' I am wearing something coloured red in symbolic gesture to represent the senseless bloodshed from now until the end of the Japanese whaling season ! Your name and any comment of support you want to make will appear beneath the amount you sponsor me for ! Many thanks on behalf of Mr Splashy Pants ! (Well that whale name got my vote anyway!) georgie

Isn't about time Japan, Norway and Iceland stopped this barbaric practice of slaughtering whales, particular Japan who seem to kill the larger amount. Its a wonder there are any minke whales left as they seem to be severely persecuted. I find it hard to comprehend that these beautiful, graceful, gentle creatures are killed in such a brutal way. It makes me feel very sad. Let's call on our governments to put pressure on these countries, particularly Japan to stop the whaling and threaten with boycotting of their goods. Pass on the word for all to write to Japanese High Commission, David Milliband, local MP, IWC etc.

Economic pressure will never work, attack their pride! Lobby to exclude them from the OLYMPIC games as an undesireable nation. I don't think many fellow competitors would condone the government backed, needless slaughter of such magnificent creatures.

Yes, definitely boycott major Japanese companies, but it's important to write to them and tell them and why. The letter/e-mail doesn't have to be long or well written. Just say "I am boycotting your products because Japan kills whales." It can work. whatever it takes

Why doesn't Greenpeace support the work of Captain Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd in tackling the whalers? Isn't it time Greenpeace grew up and stopped this childish attitude towards Sea Shepherd, if for no other reason than you ARE BOTH AGAINST KILLING WHALES! Paul Watson, a founder member of Greenpeace left over a disagreement with then Greenpeace President Patrick Moore. Moore is now a lobbyist for the logging, mining, salmon farming, bio-genetic engineering industries and the nuclear industry, so Paul was a good judge of character wasn't he? It really is about time Greenpeace accepted the offers of friendship and collaboration Sea Shepherd keeps sending you. You would gain a lot of respect from a lot of people if you accepted them and made friends. Right now, whales' lives are at risk, and any cooperation could save more of them. What do you care most about; whales or your own collective pride?

Hi Pete We've laid out our position on this several times, including in this letter to Paul Watson. As you say, let's concentrate on stopping the whaling. Cheers, Bex gpuk

So that's it? You'd laid out your position and it's set in concrete. Perhaps rather than flat denial, you could actually investigate whether anyone either employed by Greenpeace or claiming to represent Greenpeace has done what is claimed, perhaps both of you should talk it through, investigate, get to the bottom of it. It's hardly likely it's entirely made up, and Paul Watson is still talking peace and cooperation. Why this intractable attitude? As for 'we'll come to your aid just like any other vessel' is hardly the friendliest attitude. Human beings and their attitudes are usually the major problem to progress. My personal preference would be a fleet of motor torpedo boats to sink the whole fleet of murdering Japanese perverts, and I'd gladly contribute to that, but then I think whales are far more important than whalers any day, and deserve someone actually fighting on their side, rather than posing for the world's press and making endless statements while achieving nothing. Hopefully now the Australian Navy will get out there and prevent them. Further to the above I hear that Sea Shepherd, having difficulties and prevented temporarily from getting to the whaling fleet, have offered you their helicopter to aid your actions. Still going to disrespect them until they crave your forgiveness? I lose respect for Greenpeace daily. I think you have grown too big, have become a huge bureacracy handling a lot of money and involved in many diverse campaigns and publicity stunts, and Sea Shepherd are seen as an irritation to your global multinational organisation.

Having watched the independent documentary of Greenpeace's 'anti-whaling' effort, I'm even more disgusted. Not only did the skipper of the Greenpeace ship refuse to acknowledge Sea Shepherd, a remarkably silly, petulent attitude hardly worthy of a grownup, but they were also more concerned about a whaler being killed by a fire onboard the factory/abattoir ship than the environment being damaged, which came second. Offering assistance to whalers after ignoring Sea Shepherd says it all; you have been taken over by suits who don't give a toss about anything but publicity and keeping the income flowing in. Even crew members were saying Greenpeace isn't run by activists any more. You have grown into a multinational. You are now part of the problem. You mix with politicians and have become just like them. Whaling doesn't even figure on the opening pages of your site, I had to search to find any mention; it's all publicity stunts, hired in circus troupes, abseilers on buildings, and lobbying movers and shakers and other such scum. You really should abandon whaling as an issue even if it was the one which started Greenpeace, you are now irrelevent, and should leave it to those who clearly care about whales over whalers and actually putting a stop to whaling rather than raising yet more money on the back of it.

I was watching the program the other day about greenpeace following the japanese butchers.It upset me so much i had to turn it over. I would sink them ships if it was in my power. Them japanese whalers would get torpedo'd if i had my own sub.

Do these heartless people not realise that they are destroying beautiful, magnificent creatures and making them endangered ? I SAY LEAVE THE WHALES ALONE !!!!!!!

About Joss

Bass player and backing vox in the four piece beat combo that is the UK Greenpeace Web Experience. In my 6 years here I've worked on almost every campaign and been fascinated by them all to varying degrees. Just now I'm working on Peace and Oceans - which means getting rid of our Trident nuclear weapons system and creating large marine reserves so that marine life can get some protection from overfishing.

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